Skvalén: od tradičnej medicíny k moderným aplikáciám
Squalene is a natural triterpenoid present virtually in all taxonomic groups. Its use for improving human health is rooted in ancient human history as several Pacific nations consumed the oil from livers of deep-sea sharks with high squalene content to improve their health and extend the life. In addition to the use as nutritional supplement, this molecule finds today many applications in pharmacology and cosmetics, or as a valuable industrial lubricant. Broad application potential of squalene is related to its physico-chemical characteristics, antioxidant activity and to its ability to interact with cell membranes. The industrial use of squalene is limited by short natural resources. Even today squalene is acquired mainly from shark liver oil; however, this source is no more tenable from the environmental viewpoint. Plant sources (e.g. olives, amaranth seeds) and particularly microbial production are thus gaining importance as promising alternatives for extended industrial use of squalene.